The United Kingdom boasts numerous captivating and lively cities waiting to be discovered. As a student, whether you are an international student or not, there is an abundance of opportunities to embark on journeys across the UK. What’s more, these cities are conveniently connected by an extensive public transportation network, with the use of trains and coaches. While London may be the first city that springs to mind, the North of the UK is home to several remarkable cities brimming with history and culture that should not be missed. Whether your interests lie in immersing yourself in cultural and historical sites or seeking out entertainment options like sports events or a vibrant nightlife, each city in the North offers its own unique attractions. In this article, we will delve into the most popular cities in the North of the UK that are highly recommended for students to explore.


Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a captivating city renowned for its rich history and vibrant culture. With approximately 55,000 students and boasting one of the world’s top universities, it comes as no surprise that Edinburgh is the third most popular destination in the UK for international students seeking to pursue their studies. The city’s allure lies in its splendid architecture, meandering streets, and the charming cobblestone alleys of the old town. Despite its relatively modest size compared to cities like Glasgow, Edinburgh is teeming with a plethora of activities to engage in throughout its entirety.

The City of Edinburgh offers an abundance of historic sites that are well worth exploring. As a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, it exudes an air of history and culture at every turn. From its medieval thoroughfares to its elegant Georgian and Victorian buildings, Edinburgh provides the perfect setting to immerse oneself in its storied past. Dominating the city’s skyline is the illustrious Edinburgh Castle, perched atop an extinct volcano and serving as a prominent symbol of the city. In addition to the castle, there are numerous other remarkable historic sites to discover, such as St Giles Cathedral and the National Monument of Scotland.

In addition to its historical architecture, Edinburgh boasts numerous museums and some of Scotland’s most significant art galleries. For instance, the Scottish National Gallery showcases both international and Scottish art, while the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is dedicated to contemporary pieces. If you’re interested in stunning portrait works, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery is a must-visit. These galleries offer fantastic opportunities for students who appreciate the arts.

The city of Edinburgh hosts a variety of captivating city-wide events each year, including the renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This festival brings together established and emerging acts from local and international talents, making it an exciting event to attend. Spanning 25 days, the Fringe Festival takes place throughout the city, providing the perfect opportunity to explore Edinburgh. Make sure to check out the lineup and secure your tickets early, as this highly sought-after event attracts visitors from all corners of the globe and always sells out quickly.

Edinburgh offers a plethora of options for a night out, ensuring that you are kept entertained until the early hours. The city boasts a wide range of traditional pubs, bars, and clubs, providing an abundance of choices for those seeking a vibrant nightlife scene. Additionally, there are alternative options available, such as comedy clubs and live music venues, catering to different tastes and preferences. Moreover, Edinburgh is renowned for its diverse culinary scene, which includes a variety of restaurants ranging from well-known chains to casual and fine dining establishments. Whether you want to sample traditional Scottish delicacies like Haggis or explore international cuisines, Edinburgh offers a melting pot of gastronomic delights to satisfy any palate.

With its rich historical background, Edinburgh is a captivating destination for those seeking culture and art. This is why many students choose to visit and explore this northern city in the UK, as it offers a wealth of opportunities to immerse oneself in the arts and delve into its fascinating heritage.


Liverpool is a renowned city with a rich musical history, making it a popular destination for tourists. It is the sixth most visited city in the country, known for its impressive architecture, as well as attractions like the Beatles Museum, Aintree racecourse, and Mathew Street. These are just a few examples of the many appealing sights that attract visitors to this vibrant city. Additionally, Liverpool is home to three universities, with a student population of approximately 70,000.

One of Liverpool’s standout features is its vibrant nightlife, offering a variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants to cater to everyone’s tastes and preferences. Areas such as concert square are particularly popular among students, with numerous bars that are student friendly. For those seeking live music, Mathew Street is the go-to destination.

Liverpool truly offers a diverse range of experiences and opportunities for visitors, from exploring its historic landmarks to immersing oneself in its thriving music scene. It is no wonder that this city continues to captivate the hearts of both locals and tourists alike.

Liverpool is brimming with museums, art galleries, and captivating destinations to explore. Many of these can be found in the Cultural Quarter and Albert Dock. If you’re looking for budget-friendly attractions, the Cultural Quarter is the place to be. It often hosts free exhibitions and other complimentary activities that are perfect for those watching their spending.

When it comes to shopping, Liverpool boasts two prominent shopping centres, Liverpool ONE and St John’s. Additionally, you’ll find a wealth of independent shops, boutiques, and vintage stores scattered throughout the city, particularly along Bold Street. One of the highlights of shopping in Liverpool is the abundance of student discounts available. So, be sure to keep an eye out for fantastic deals while exploring the vibrant shopping scene.

If you have a passion for sports, then Liverpool is the perfect destination for you. This vibrant city is proudly home to two renowned football clubs, Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs. The intense rivalry between these teams adds to the excitement, and they are only separated by the iconic Stanley Park. Attending a football match here is an incredible opportunity to witness the locals’ unwavering passion for the game and their beloved teams.

Liverpool is not just a haven for sports enthusiasts, but also a city with breathtaking architecture and a plethora of attractions. It comes as no surprise that it ranks among the most popular destinations in the UK. As a student, visiting Liverpool in the northern part of the country is an excellent choice. You will have the chance to explore and discover the city’s rich history, vibrant culture, and diverse offerings.


As one of the most renowned cities in the north of the UK, Manchester stands out for its remarkable versatility. The city boasts an array of captivating experiences for its visitors. Notably, Manchester is globally recognized as the home to two of the most esteemed football teams in both the Premier League and the world: Manchester City and Manchester United. If you have a passion for football, you might consider securing a ticket to one of their exhilarating matches. However, if football does not pique your interest, fear not, as Manchester offers numerous opportunities to engage in various other sports. The city prides itself on its exceptional sports infrastructure, providing a wide range of sports facilities that cater to all enthusiasts.

Moreover, Manchester is a vibrant hub for music and arts. With the largest student population outside of London, the city has curated a rich tapestry of events specifically tailored to students’ tastes. Visitors can explore notable attractions like the Manchester Art Gallery, which showcases an impressive collection of artistic masterpieces. Additionally, Manchester offers an eclectic live music scene, with popular venues such as Band on the Wall, Gorilla, Deaf Institute, and many more, providing ample opportunities to enjoy captivating live performances.

Manchester offers a wide selection of fantastic dining destinations for food enthusiasts. With a staggering number of more than 650 restaurants, the city caters to a variety of tastes with its diverse range of cuisines from around the globe. Whether you prefer the intimate ambiance of a cosy restaurant or the excitement of exploring various street food vendors, Manchester has something for everyone to enjoy.

It is worth noting that Manchester’s appeal extends beyond football and the arts. The city effortlessly blends its rich industrial heritage with contemporary developments, creating a unique ambiance that leaves a lasting impression on every visitor. From its iconic architecture to its vibrant street art scene, Manchester encapsulates a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity.

For those seeking a bit of retail therapy, Manchester is an excellent destination. Boasting the largest inner-city shopping centre in the UK, the Arndale, with its extensive collection of over 200 shops, provides a haven for shopaholics. Just a short thirty-minute journey from the city centre lies the Trafford Centre, renowned for its remarkable display of paintings, statues, and murals scattered throughout the complex. Moreover, Manchester proudly hosts not one, but two Selfridges stores, located in Exchange Square and the Trafford shopping centre respectively. In addition to these shopping centres, the city is also adorned with numerous independent shops that can be found in various corners of the urban landscape.

In conclusion, Manchester is a city in the north of the UK that effortlessly caters to a myriad of interests and passions. Whether you are a football fanatic, an art enthusiast, a music lover, or simply someone looking to immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere of a dynamic city, Manchester has something exceptional to offer.

Newcastle Upon Tyne

Newcastle upon Tyne is a highly popular city for students in the North of the UK, with approximately 45,000 students enrolled in either Newcastle University or Northumbria University. Despite its small size, the city offers a wide range of attractions and amenities.

In terms of transportation, Newcastle Upon Tyne boasts excellent public transport links, making it convenient to travel to and from the city. It also provides easy access to nearby beaches and major cities like London, Edinburgh, and Leeds. Additionally, the city houses an international airport that connects to more than 80 destinations.

Newcastle Quayside at Night

The vibrant nightlife of Newcastle upon Tyne is renowned among students. With numerous bars, pubs, and clubs to choose from, there is an abundance of options for entertainment. One notable area is the Quayside, situated along the waterfront, which offers a diverse selection of bars, restaurants, and shops to explore.

The city of Newcastle upon Tyne offers a range of captivating cultural activities. For instance, you can immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of the Newcastle Theatre Royal, a historic venue that showcases a diverse array of shows. On a beautiful day, you can also enjoy a leisurely stroll through the picturesque Dene in Jesmond. This stunning park boasts lush gardens, a serene river, and a charming waterfall. If you’re a sports enthusiast, consider catching a football match at St. James’ Park, which serves as the home stadium for the renowned Newcastle United Football Club.

With its multitude of attractions, whether for a night out or a cultural experience, Newcastle upon Tyne is an exceptional city to explore. It’s no wonder that it is considered one of the top destinations for students in the North of the UK.


The cities mentioned above are all excellent destinations for students to explore in the north of the UK. They represent just a small selection of the numerous other remarkable cities in the north, including Sheffield, York, Glasgow, and several other captivating destinations. Each city provides a wide array of activities and attractions to engage in. The cities mentioned above serve as ideal starting points for students looking to embark on their exploration of the UK.

If you are a student from the MENA region and want to study abroad then we can help you. Check out our main site Global Study UK for more information on how we can help you. If you enjoyed finding out about cities in the north of the UK, then check out another post such as United Kingdom Landmarks: 10 Best Places to Visit in 2023 and What kinds of discounts are available to international students in the UK?